The Side Effects Of Technology On Children

1585 words - 7 pages

Renowned German scientist Albert Einstein once said “it has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity” (“Albert Einstein”). As portrayed in “The Veldt” Ray Bradbury’s thoughts on technology resemble Einstein’s. Bradbury was born on August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois and died on June 5, 2012. At the time when “The Veldt” was written, many American families purchased television sets, which inspired this story. Concerned with the increasing popularity of television and its possible negative effects during the time, Bradbury wrote “The Veldt”. In this short story, two children become attached to their high-tech nursery and value it more than their own parents. In the review titled “Overview: ‘The Veldt’” mentions that “this fear [of television] is directly reflected in ‘The Veldt,’ but in the story, Bradbury heightens the odds by creating a machine that not only allows children to detach emotionally from their parents, but one that can also physically destroy the parents, as well” (“Overview”). The family in the story lives in a high tech home with a nursery that can transform into any setting the two children imagine. George and Lydia believe the children created a scene they should not have, the African Veldt, resulting in the parents shutting it down. The children become infuriated with their parents and end up killing them with lions in the nursery. Ray Bradbury develops his theme that excessive technology corrupts children in his short story “The Veldt” through the use of setting, characterization, and foreshadowing.
To begin with, the setting of the short story “The Veldt” takes place in a Happylife home, a home that does everything for the Hadley family. This causes the kids to feel that they do not need their parents anymore. Joyce Hart says, “The house was soothing, rocking them and their children to sleep at night. The house was nurturing, fixing their meals, dressing them, and keeping their environment as clean as if they had a twenty-four-hour maid. Who could ask for more from a house?” (Hart). With a house that does things such as rocking the children to sleep, which parents usually do, the kids end up perceiving the house as their parents. The intimidating nursery even ends up scaring the very parents that bought it. At one point in the story Lydia Hadley says, “‘I’m afraid.’ She came to him and put her body against him and cried steadily. ‘Did you see? Did you feel? It’s too real’” (Bradbury). If such a high tech home frightens the adults so dreadfully, the effect only worsens on the children, which causes their corruption.
The nursery’s setting of the African veldtland also contributes to the theme. Stated by Anthony Bernardo, regarding Ray Bradbury, “his description of the veldt also conveys an atmosphere of menace and hostility mirroring the psychological state of the Hadley family” (Bernardo). Such an unfavorable setting can only lead to corrupted kids. The story describes the scenery by...

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